My ANC: ‘My dad’s generation is very irritating’

2012-01-07 11:35

Mpho Biko (18) has just matriculated from Pretoria Girls High and plans to study architecture. She is the great-niece of the late Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko. She told her story to Silindile Nyathikazi

The other day as I was walking from school, I saw ANC posters and there were black people using them to sit on. I thought to myself, “this is not right”.

I mean that’s just going back to the past, and it’s not fair to live like that.

My dad always tells me how, instead of watching TV and being on my phone all the time, we should be out there fighting for something that we believe in, just like his generation and my great uncle Steve did.

But we’re not the same, things have changed and we are growing up in a completely different time and, you know, for a while we didn’t get along at all because of our differences.

My dad was a kid when Uncle Steve died and he joined the ANC Youth League after his death, but he doesn’t really talk about that a lot.

Actually, no one really ever talks about it, even at family reunions.

It’s only during election time that my family talks about politics and it’s like: ‘Don’t you dare try and vote for the DA, we’re watching you’ and stuff like that, but no one ever really forces us to be politically active.

The thing is my dad’s generation is very irritating in the way they go about things. I feel like they judge us and want to make us feel bad if we don’t see things their way.

Everyone has their different beliefs, so if I, for instance, suddenly start believing in the DA, then people just get angry and say I should be with the ANC because that’s what your uncle fought for.

But that’s not what he fought for, my uncle just fought for freedom.

There are kids my age who are fighting for exactly the same thing they did 30 or 40 years ago but just in a different way – like through music and art.

We’ve seen what they’ve done and we respect and understand it, they should see what we’re doing so we can learn from each other.

The world has changed so much and if you are stuck in the past, it’s going to cause so many more problems and no one wants rifts and arguments in the family.

I feel that our generation’s role is to have patience with them, carry on doing you’re thing and eventually people are going to accept you for who and what you are.

My dad understands me much better now, he knows I love art and just want everyone to be happy.

There are lots of kids at my school from political backgrounds, who are political themselves, and they are into that sort of thing.

Like when it was Black Tuesday, they spoke to us on our level and made us understand that this is a threat to our freedom of speech. That resonated with me because I like to talk a lot!

So if they were to start some kind of movement, I’d definitely support them because they speak the way we speak and give us a reason to fight.

But I will not get into politics just because my name is Biko.

I feel like there is no political party that represents our generation, actually. What I see is parties hanging onto the past really tightly and doing stupid things like fighting.

I mean people don’t have homes and you want to fight about Julius Malema? I mean, seriously, just give people homes and fix everything you promised to fix.

If nothing changes before the next election, I’m not voting ANC. I’m not going to vote for something I don’t believe in.

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